The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, is holding a two-day dialogue with civil society organizations, on the recommendations proffered in the “Shadow” budget option paper developed by CSOs during the formulation FY 2020/2021.
The event is being organized by the Non-State Actors Secretariat and Budget Department at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.
The shadow budget option paper developed by the CSOs seeks to enhance accountability and transparency of how resources from the government will benefit the people.
Deputy Finance Minister for Budget and Development Planning Tanneh Brunson said it is through the ongoing dialogue that government and CSOs can deliberate and derive solutions to the many challenges.
Madam Brunson revealed that the event will also provide a platform to share with civil society organizations on the proposed public participation mechanism, government has developed with support from the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT).
Government, Hon. Brunson explained, stands ready to work with all stakeholders in ensuring that fiscal transparency targets are met.
This, she says, means that government and CSOs, including development partners, must promote and continue transparent and accountable dialogue, adding that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning pledged support and cooperation to the fullest to such endeavor.
The budget minister indicated that transparency and predictability of resources is vital in enabling Governments’ to exercise a leadership role in directing and monitoring public sector investment.
She noted that it is a prerequisite for effective sector planning in the medium and long-term, and crucial to governments’ capacity to hold external support agencies accountable as well as government itself.
According to Deputy Minister Brunson, promoting good governance is a key strategic objective of the national development agenda, because it signifies open, inclusive, accountable, and effective public institutions.
“This government recognizes the importance of promoting good governance and is implementing reforms on good governance and anticorruption including forums such as this to engage citizens and civil society to complement government efforts to promote good governance”, Hon. Brunson averred.
She pointed out that good governance outcomes include lowering of corruption, better budget utilization, and better delivery of public services and increased state or institutional responsiveness.
However, she said, citizen engagement in good governance improves access, responsiveness, inclusiveness, and accountability in the delivery of public services such as health, water, education, and agriculture.
“It also improves transparency, accountability, and sustainability in natural resources management”, she stressed.
The deputy finance minister went on to say that citizen engagement is being increasingly used as part of good governance to curb corruption in a variety of development programs such as service delivery, public financial management, natural resources management, as well as to hold public officials accountable through programs such as assets and liabilities disclosure and monitoring, citizen report cards, and public interest litigation.
“Participatory budgeting initiatives can contribute to multiple outcomes, including improved public services, redirection of resources to poor communities, new civic associations, and strengthened democratic processes.
It is through your engagement as citizens and civil society to demand and promote good governance that the overall effectiveness of good governance and anticorruption programs be improved” she told the participants.